Outside my window

Outside the window in my third floor office is a tree. I just moved to this office this winter, so it has always been naked and bare in my experience.

There is a ragged old bird’s nest in the crook of two branches. One day I noticed a pair of mourning doves checking it out. Before long they were crooning and courting, and Mama Dove began settling in. Papa sat on a branch keeping watch, occasionally flying in to check on things.

Suddenly, the doves scattered as a hawk landed in the tree. I was so excited, thinking I might see a bit of natural selection right outside my window. But the hawk left and eventually the doves returned to their routine. It was a bit distracting, waiting for the hawk to swoop in. More than once I lost concentration during a meeting when I saw fluttering at the nest. I expected – hoped, actually – to see the hawk devouring a dove.

Then the weekend came and went. On Monday, the doves were gone. I found myself sad, thinking that the hawk had had one, or both, for dinner. Just a few days before, I was watching for that very outcome. Now it made me sad.

By Wednesday, Papa Dove returned, then Mama. Or was it a replacement dove? That two-timing avian! He sure didn’t mourn long for a mourning dove, did he! The new pair is nesting, and I’ve forgiven Papa Dove already.

But Friday is coming, and I bet the hawk is getting hungry.


Society as a whole doesn’t take enough responsibility for our actions. Take the environment. Couldn’t we all do a bit better about conservation? What else could you do that would make a difference, even if ever-so-small. Last night walked by my son’s room and noticed the little lights on his DVD and TV glowing in the dark. He is grown, hasn’t lived in our house for years, but still, we had the TV and DVD ready for him to walk in any minute to use. That’s small potatoes in the whole energy conservation realm, but I unplugged them. I probably won’t save enough money from those two little LEDs to buy a pack of gum, but maybe if enough of us do that, we can save a bit of the rain forest, or the coastline, or some such thing.

Not that we’ll ever know what that little action does for our planet, but wouldn’t it be cool to imagine the possibilities. They call that the butterfly effect, which essentially says that a small change in one place can have significant effects in another. The theory goes that the air displaced by the butterfly’s wings could set off a chain of events that could eventually change the path of a tornado or some such wind disturbance. Interesting thought.

Couldn’t we all be a bit more insistent that our corporations be more responsible – environmentally, socially, internationally? And how about making sure our government leaders hold them accountable? Not when it’s politically advantageous, but all the time. If enough butterflies were out there flapping like mad, just think of the effect we could have.

(I want to be a swallowtail, please.)


I love snow. But I don’t like the mess it creates in my life – getting the 25 miles to and from work, dealing with canceled appointments or events, whiny babies who are afraid of a little snow on the roads. Since I live in Kentucky, people have problems with snow. People here just act stupid when it snows. Period. Predict snow and watch the crazy people clean out the grocery shelves.  Why someone needs to buy 20 cans of corn and beans for a 2 inch snow is a mystery to me.

Birds waiting their turn to devour the seed in our feeders during one of last winter's snow storms.

I like snow the most is when it snows on a Friday night, after I’ve gotten home for the weekend.  I can watch it show from the comfort of my kitchen, see the birds eat us out of house and home, and admire the beauty all while staying off the roads and out of the grocery stores.

I also like it when it is not too cold so I can go out and play in it a bit.  I love taking snow pictures, but just will not do it if it is cold and windy.  I’m a woos. But I also love to come back inside and curl up near the fire with an adult beverage of some sort.  Mighty fine.

Snow days are great for cooking, too. I love to spend the day in the kitchen cooking and eating bunches of new things that I don’t typically have time for. One snow storm a few years ago, when they actually shut down the Interstates, I cooked so many new things,. That winter, I developed an entire  bunch of new “standards” that we still enjoy regularly.

Bring on the snow! But wait till Friday night, please.

This land

I live in Kentucky.  Beautiful, green, terrain that goes from flat in the west to rolling hills then to mountains in the east.  peaceful lane

See?  This picture was taken by my talented daughter  in my driveway  last year just as the leaves started to turn.

.peaceful drive

I love to travel, but I think Kentucky is about the prettiest place on earth.

I just returned from Nevada – Las Vegas, actually.  Now, Las Vegas has it’s share of lights and glitter and glamour.  It sure impressed me! But it doesn’t have much green.  It has desert.  Lots of desert.  See?

Land of Fire

If it wasn’t for the red rocks in Nevada’s Land of Fire state park, the entire landscape would be gray.  Most of the rest of the area we saw was like the background in this photo. Not green.  No trees, hardly any plants at all, and most of those were rather gray-green.. It was pretty in its own way, I suppose, but it was rather uniform.  The mountains were nice, but they were just a darker shade of gray.  The red rocks at the park  were nice, but it sure was hot. Desolate.  I kept waiting for someone like John Wayne to meander up on his horse looking for water, and then the director to yell, “CUT!”

It made me think about the kid who grows up in Nevada and goes to the east for the first time ever.  What would he think of all that green? And trees? And ample water?  We tend to think of people coming to America from foreign countries and wondering what they think of this land, but what about our own?  We are just as diverse, landscape wise, and experience wise. Yet we assume, unwisely, that we are alike, because we are Americans.

It’s cool to live in a county with so much diversity.  Now if we could just start to appreciate it in all its forms.  From culture, to landscape.  From skin color to economic circumstance.  What a wonderful place this would be.

A drop in the bucket

There is this new museum near to my home, I am ashamed to say, called the Creation Museum.  I haven’t been, nor will I go, but it depicts how the earth was created from the literal Biblical accounts – seven days, you know.  It tries to debunk that supposed ‘myth of evolution’ by depicting Adam and Eve hanging around with the dinosaurs.  The scientists are up in arms, as are a lot of other people. But  a lot of folks are rather impressed with the museum, support it, plan to take all their out of town guests there. To each his own . . .

But I can’t help thinking about the millions of dollars that were spent to portray one side of an old and tired debate – creationism vs. evolution. I think I remember seeing $29 million in the paper. 

And I am thinking about that phrase that was popular a while back, “What would Jesus do?”

I think Jesus would have said to stop the debate and get to work helping people.  What if that $29 mil was spent providing safe, decent, affordable housing for low income families? Think what a difference that would make for those families.  They would probably not stop and worry, “But wait, someone is not getting the message about the literal intrepretation of the Bible!” They would appreciate that their children were warmer, safer, better prepared to learn. 

What if that $29 mil went to educating families about the dangers of predatory lending, and to shutting down the lenders that are trying to take advantage of those who think they have few choices.  Or if it went toward raising the minimum wage to a living wage.  Granted, $29 million would be only a drop in that very large bucket, but it would at least be a start.

Or what would $29 million do to lower our use of fossil fuels to slow the global warming crisis? Another drop in the bucket, I’m afraid, but it is a drop we must add, and soon. Instead of fighting about whether this environment we have was created or evolved, it’s time to get together to save it instead.